German 3D printer manufacturer BigRep will be showcasing some brand new products at Formnext this week, including two new industrial 3D printers. The two machines, the BigRep PRO and the BigRep EDGE, are based on the company’s new and proprietary MXT Extrusion Technology.
Marketed as the company’s next-generation 3D printers, the BigRep PRO and BigRep EDGE are compatible with high performance materials and offer a print quality that makes them suitable for manufacturing functional prototypes, composite tooling parts and even end-use parts for small batch production. The company says the new 3D printers will have applications in the automotive, aerospace, consumers goods and manufacturing sectors, to name a few.
Both 3D printers are based on BigRep’s MXT technology (which stands for Metering Extruder Technology) and are equipped with a Bosch Rexroth motion system, providing high print speeds, precision and quality. Further, the new machines come with IoT connectivity, so users can integrate them into their smart factories with ease.
“This new technology delivers the type of innovation that the industry has been awaiting, as our groundbreaking MXT system makes our new printers five times faster–with greater precision and quality–than current extrusion speeds,” said BigRep CEO, Stephan Beyer, PhD. “This is one giant leap for additive manufacturing, allowing BigRep customers to make full use of today’s most advanced large-scale 3D printing technology.”
The BigRep PRO
The BigRep Pro, which is now available to order, was developed for the production of large-scale industrial parts. The big machine boasts a build envelope of one cubic meter and includes a temperature-controlled spool chamber. This feature enables continuous printing with high performance materials, such as ASA, ABS, nylon and others.
The structure of the 3D printer also integrates an enclosed and insulated metal frame which provides a consistent temperature throughout the print process. Despite being enclosed, users can still keep tabs on their prints thanks to the printer’s clear glass doors. Other notable features of the 3D printer include a heated print bed mounted with polyamide foil for better adhesion and an inductive sensor for semi-automatic bed leveling.
The BigRep EDGE
To be released in Q2 2019, the BigRep EDGE features many of the same benefits as the BigRep PRO but is slightly more sophisticated. The EDGE boasts a build volume of 1500 x 800 x 600 mm, as well as a heated build chamber (with a controlled temperature of up to 200°C in the print chamber and 220°C in the print bed).
The BigRep EDGE also integrates a premium user experience with automatic, upward-moving doors and a user-friendly graphical interface with full control over settings.
MXT extrusion technology
The MXT technology patented by BigRep is what really sets the two new 3D printers apart from other large-scale printers on the market. The technology, BigRep explains, sets a clear distinction between filament feeding and melting and molten extrusion. This enables users to benefit more greatly from full control over the extrusion speed and the amount of the material extruded. The new technology was also developed with BigRep’s partnership with BASF in mind, and will enable compatibility with materials to be developed by the two in future.
Both the BigRep PRO and EDGE are equipped with two MXT modular extrusion heads, which offer print speeds of >600 millimeters per second (for the PRO using a 0.6 mm nozzle) and up to 1,000 mm/s (for the EDGE). These speeds are reportedly over five times faster than competing FFF 3D printers.
Additionally, BigRep notes that the MXT extruders also enable filament throughput rates of 5x at the maximum extrusion rate and 3x at the average extrusion rate compared to other FFF technologies.
Lastly, BigRep highlights another element in its two 3D printers that sets them apart, which was integrated thanks to a partnership with Bosch Rexroth. Through the collaboration, BigRep has, for the first time, successfully integrated state-of-the-art CNC control systems by Bosch Rexroth into its 3D printers.
“Thanks to professional control systems technology, 3D printing is establishing itself as an industrial manufacturing application,” commented Thomas Fechner, General Manager of the Business Unit New Business at Bosch Rexroth. “In terms of hardware, the CNC control system by Bosch Rexroth is delivering the necessary performance, precision and durability. In our development partnership with BigRep, we are advancing the potential of 3D printing for its use in the environment of the Factory of the Future.”
BigRep will be presenting the BigRep PRO and EDGE 3D printers at its booth at Formnext (Hall 3.1, stall E-20).
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